Tag Archives: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Op-Ed: Finishing the fight against breast cancer

| oped@queenscourier.com

Alvaro Carrasca l, M.D., M.P.H. Senior Vice President, Cancer Control

One hundred years ago, the American Cancer Society began the fight of a lifetime – the fight against cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers and the biggest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, we’ve contributed to a 20 percent decline in overall cancer death rates in the US since the early 1990s. That means we’ve helped save nearly 1.2 million lives during that time.

The progress we’ve made is remarkable, but there is more work to be done.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time when we focus our awareness efforts on the fight to end the most frequently diagnosed non-skin cancer in women and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Breast cancer will steal the lives of 39,620 women across the United States this year. In Queens alone, we expect 1,418 women to be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and 300 to die of this disease. This is why it is especially important for Queens residents to lace up their sneakers and walk together at Making Strides Against Breast Cancer on October 20.

Making Strides is the largest network of breast cancer awareness events in the nation, uniting nearly 300 communities to finish the fight. Our walkers turn awareness into action, raising more than $68 million nationwide for the American Cancer Society last year – one dollar at a time – to save lives from breast cancer.

So where does that money go? First- research. The American Cancer Society invests more in breast cancer research than any other cancer and we’ve played a role in nearly every major breast cancer research breakthrough in recent history. The Society established mammography as the standard to find breast cancer early and discovered lifesaving treatments like Herceptin and Tamoxifen. Thanks in part to our work, the death rate from breast cancer has dropped 33% since 1989 and continuous groundbreaking breast cancer research projects are underway at institutions across New York City. We will continue our work until we end the disease.

But we also support the women of Queens who need help now. One in every two women newly diagnosed with breast cancer reaches out to us for help. This is a huge obligation for one organization to meet. The Society provides emotional support programs like Reach To Recovery, free wigs and assistance with treatment-related physical side effects, free lodging when the treatment facility is far from home, an extensive network of online support and information, and much more.

This research and these programs are possible because of the funds raised through Making Strides. To sign up for the local walk in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on October 20, visit MakingStridesWalk.org. Connect with us on Facebook at facebook.com/Strides and on Twitter at @MakingStrides.

And remember: if you are 40 or older, get your yearly mammogram. The five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 98 percent among individuals whose cancer has not spread beyond the breast at the time of diagnosis and mammography is the best way to catch breast cancer early. If you are interested in more information or in need of support, please call us at 1-800-227-2345.



Community boards OK rezoning for East Elmhurst, Corona

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com


Proposed rezoning of parts of East Elmhurst and Corona seems to be on track, with approvals from both Community Boards (CB) 3 and 4.

The Department of City Planning received the go-ahead from the boards — a first step since Commissioner Amanda Burden’s June 3 announcement of the beginning of the official public review process of a 127-block rezoning of East Elmhurst and 14 block fronts along Roosevelt Avenue in Corona.

The objective of the rezoning is to protect the current character of East Elmhurst’s residential blocks, which are made up of one- and two-family detached, semi-detached and attached homes.

“This rezoning, which was developed in close consultation with the community and local elected officials, will protect the cherished one- and two-family composition of this neighborhood,” said Burden.

The proposal also looks to update commercial overlays in order to reinforce the main commercial corridors, better reflect current land use trends and constrain commercial incursions onto residential streets. The rezoning will aim to strengthen the character of Astoria Boulevard and help it stand out from residential streets.

The 14 block fronts along Roosevelt Avenue that are included in the rezoning proposal will also help increase development in the area. For example it will allow the 82nd Street Partnership’s Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District to provide services for the merchants and community on the busy strip.

“Though currently zoned for residential use, we’re seeing increased commercial activity along the stretch of Roosevelt Avenue from Elmhurst Avenue to 114th Street,” said Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership.

“The rezoning pairs nicely with the proposed Jackson Heights- Corona BID, which would promote local economic growth and be a positive force for the entire commercial corridor.”

The rezoning proposal will now be reviewed by the Borough Board, Borough President, the City Planning Commission and then the City Council.



Making Strides, raising funds, giving hope

| amanning@queenscourier.com

“Hey, Soul Sister,” the smash hit by Train, was blasting through speakers as walkers gathered in the field at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for the American Cancer Society’s annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. The song was fitting as hundreds of survivors who had never met all became, in a way, “soul sisters,” rallying for a common cause that they knew all too well.

The survivors were, of course, not alone at the walk, which took place on Sunday, October 16. There were flocks of “striders” who came out because they knew someone who battled or is battling the disease, which affects about one in eight women in the United States.

The 106th Precinct Explorers were there, along with Community Affairs Officers Kenneth Zorn and Brenda Bratcher and Captain Thomas Pascale.

“It was nice of those kids taking the time,” said Zorn.

Even Assistant Chief James Secreto, Commanding Officer of the NYPD’s Patrol Borough Queens South, walked for the cause, which is very close to his heart.

“I think it’s something important, it’s a good cause. It affects me personally because my mother and aunt both had it,” said Austin Phillips, a senior at St. John’s University who walked with his own team, the Pink Panthers. “My mother’s in her eighth year of remission; she’s doing well, she’s healthy.”

People of every age and background honored and celebrated breast cancer survivors, raised awareness – and raised more than $877,000

Some had been doing it for years, like Marge Cashin, who manned the St. John’s tent for the Office of Community Relations. Although this was her 13th year taking part with the school, which is a flagship sponsor, she originally walked with her sister-in-law, whom she lost to breast cancer two years ago.

Others were taking part for the first time, as Adrienne Pellegrino was. A four-time All-Star winner for Relay for Life, she decided to try her hand at fundraising for Making Strides, raising an impressive $5,070 by herself. With her birthday coming up and the American Cancer Society’s slogan being “Creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays,” Pellegrino donned a life-sized birthday cake costume, garnering her lots of compliments and second glances.

One survivor, Delma Rosario, a St. Albans resident, summed up her experience – “You’re grateful to be a survivor.” Rosario, who was diagnosed just 10 days before her 39th birthday, has now been in remission for 15 years.

Committed to a cure

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com


One fateful morning in December of 2010, Darcy Novick’s life changed forever.

Like thousands of women before her, Novick was diagnosed with breast cancer, shattering her reality and leaving her unsure of the future.

“It’s like your world is coming to an end,” said Novick, a 46-year-old Bayside resident. “You think the worst. You think that you are going to die. The days after I found out were the worst days of my life.”

After the initial shock was over, Novick quickly focused on getting healthy. She began chemotherapy and radiation, and had a lumpectomy this past February. Now that her treatments have ended, and Novick is no longer fighting for her life, she has turned her attention towards a different battle – the battle for a cure.

Novick is organizing “Laugh for the Cure Comedy Night,” a fundraiser on October 14 at the Bay Club, located at 1 Bay Club Drive in Bayside.

Comedians Richie Minervini and Mitchell Walters, as well as musical performers Peter Mazzeo and the Hit Squad are all volunteering their time for the event. A “Comedy Night” raffle will also be held, during which guests will have the opportunity to win donated prizes, such as gift certificates to restaurants and two round-trip tickets on JetBlue.

Two days later, on October 16, Novick will be participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walk in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Walking with her will be the “Bosom Buddies,” a group of 50 people, including her parents and sister, who she assembled for the fundraiser.

Every dollar collected from both the comedy night and walk will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

“We’ve been completely amazed with the things Darcy has done,” said John Link, director of special events for the Queens office of the American Cancer Society. “She’s doing it for all the right reasons – because she wants to be a part of something great and find a cure for breast cancer. She’s really been a big part of the success we’ve had in Queens.”

According to Link, Novick is not only the top fundraiser in Queens, but she is currently top five in the entire country. She has already raised $18,101, and the Bosom Buddies are the top group, with a total of $23,940. If the team reaches $25,000, they will become the first Queens group ever to do so.
Along with raising money, Novick emphasizes the importance of raising awareness.

“I caught the cancer early, because I go every year for a mammogram,” she said. “I think people procrastinate in making an appointment for a mammogram, but it is really important to go every year. I wanted to organize the ‘Laugh for the Cure Comedy Night’ in order to raise funds for the American Cancer Society, but also to raise awareness for all women.”